A fresh opinion survey among Estonian residents indicates that, six months before the introduction of the euro, there is generally a good level of awareness regarding the changeover.
According to the survey, conducted in July, four of every five respondents were aware of the practical issues related to the changeover and knew the basic facts. 89% of the residents believed that their level of knowledge about the changeover was either good or sufficient. Only one quarter said that they would like or need additional information.
85% of the sample was able to state the exact or almost the exact exchange rate. 79% of the respondents knew that the prices of all goods and services have to be shown in both euros and kroons for one year. 87% were aware that the amount of kroons that can be exchanged for euros is unlimited, 82% that the banks will not charge a fee for the exchange one month before and six months after the changeover, and 82% that cash kroons can still be used for two weeks after the date of changeover. The fact that the Bank of Estonia will continue to exchange kroons for euros for an unlimited time was less known (46%).
The level of knowledge is similar in all population groups. The knowledge is slightly below average among people with low level of education (77%-86%), as well as among Russian-speaking (77%-80%) and younger (69%-81%) population groups, but the level is not critically low in any of those groups.
Information about changeover to euro has been obtained predominantly from media - television (84%), print media (68%), radio (66%) – to be followed by internet (38%) and friends and relatives (36%).
The webpage euro.eesti.ee is known to 40% of respondents - 10% have already used it, 30% know the website but have not used it. 15% of respondents claim to be not using internet.
The adoption of the euro has a moderately positive support, with 52% of the respondents supporting the changeover. The support was stronger than average among Estonians, as well as among residents with higher education and higher income.
Support for the adoption of the euro is primarily associated with travelling, simpler conduct of monetary affairs abroad, and direct or indirect benefits for Estonian economy.
Opposition to the changeover is mainly associated with the fear of increase in prices and the cost of living, and the loss of the kroon as a symbol of identity. Price increase is feared by 74% of respondents and is above average among russian-speaking population and people living in rural areas and with low level of education.
Research agency Faktum & Ariko conducted the survey from 15 to 23 July. The telephone survey sample included 500 people from 15 to 74 years of age. The survey was commissioned jointly by the State Chancellery and the Ministry of Finance.